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Top 20 Six Sigma Interview Questions and Answers 

Q1. Explain what is Six sigma?

Ans: Six sigma is one of the perfect problem-solving methodologies. This process is applied in most of the organizations and the projects they work in. So using this process, the organizations can actually understand the root cause of the problem and also the costs associated to fix the same.

So using this six sigma process, the organization will be able to identify the root cause of the problem and put in necessary fixes, and also try to reduce the cost associated with the same by taking precautions that the same mistake or error doesn’t happen again.

It is measured based on the DPMO factor, i.e. Defect per Million Opportunities.

[Related Article: Lean Interview Questions and Answers]

Q2. What are the different levels available in Six sigma?

Ans: Six sigma is nothing but a process improvement methodology where the root cause of the errors is identified and ultimately helps in improving the overall process. So when it comes to the Six Sigma level, one has to check with the DPMO score.

If the accuracy of the process gets to a level where it has only 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Below, is the list of defects per million that are catered towards a single level:

  • 690,000
  • 308,537
  • 66,807
  • 6,210
  • 233
  • 3.4

Q3. What are the different variations that are used in the Six Sigma process?

Ans: The following are the different kinds of variations that are used in the six sigma process:

Mean: This measurement is actually considered only for a particular application and the values are calculated. So within this process, the variations are actually measured and compared using average techniques of mathematics.

Median: This process is initiated by identifying the highest and the lowest values and then divide the value by 2. Within this process, the variations are actually measured and compared by taking the midpoint of the data set range.

Range: As the name implies it actually takes into consideration of highest rate and lowest values for a specific date range.

Mode:  Mode is nothing but the most occurred values in a given data set range.

Q4. So within an organization who are responsible for building or be a part of the Six Sigma implementation team?

Ans: So within an organization, the following roles or designated individuals will be a part of the six sigma implementation part, they are as follows:

  • Executive management, the leaders are responsible for making decisions
  • Champions
  • Master Black belts
  • Black belts
  • Green Belts

[Related Article: What is Six Sigma Green Belt?]

Q5. What is the main role of executive leaders or executive management in terms of implementing the six sigma team?

Ans: Well, these are the individuals who will be responsible for driving initiatives to make sure their product quality and processes are optimized to a profitable level where the entire team is being productive with fewer operations costs incurred.

So most of the time, the executive leaders will be CEO or Board of director members, etc. The main motto of these individuals is to make sure that they deliver a quality product to the customers and make sure they are satisfied.

Q6. What is the main role of champions in terms of implementing the six sigma team?

Ans: So champions are more likely senior managers that manage micro teams based on individual projects they deal with.

So most of the time they promote good aspects of implementing Six Sigma processes and also do involve in coaching and mentoring if needed.

Q7. What is the main role of a Master black belt in terms of implementing a six sigma team?

Ans: The main role of Master black belt holder of the six sigma process is vital for an organization because most organizations don’t start with a concrete six sigma process. 

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So building up the practice and making sure that they are in line with the standards is very important. So the core process is initiated and mentored if necessary to the users who are part of the six sigma process implementation team.

Q8. What are the different six sigma methodologies available?

Ans: They are two six sigma sub methodologies that are available for the teams to focus on, they are:

  • DMAIC: It stands for ( Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control)
  • DMADV: It stands for ( Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify)

Q9. Explain in detail what is meant by DMAIC six sigma methodology?

Ans: Well, DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. Within this process, it is an improvement system for all the existing processes where they identify whether there needs to be any process improvement and look for it on regular basis to achieve the ultimate process efficiency.

So basically, this process to execute has 5 different phases where the entire functional flow or the process is evaluated on different parameters which eventually results in the optimized process flow for a better and concrete outcome.

Q10: When was Six Sigma was developed and who was the inventor?

Ans: So the six sigma process was developed by Motorola to make sure that their products are measured in terms of the highest quality and the year it was invented in 1986.

Q11: What are the quality management tools and methods that are used in the Six Sigma process?

Ans: They are many third-party tools that can be integrated with the Six Sigma process to achieve process efficiency. The methods that six sigma follows are:

  • DMAIC: Stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control
  • DMADV: Stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify

Q12: What is the difference between load test and performance testing?

Ans: The difference between load testing and performance testing is as follows:

Load Testing:

  • Load testing is nothing but a testing process where the load limit is beyond what the client has required. This would help us understand whether the application can handle a certain limit.
  • Load testing is about how well the application or the program is behaving and how many concurrent users are able to login to the application without any problem.

Performance Testing:

  • Performance testing is all about having more stress on the system checks and also the overall application and system performance during the stress conditions. In a sense, performance testing is nothing but a superset of the load test.
  • Performance testing includes load testing and as well as stress testing.

Q13: Explain what is meant by Lean Six Sigma?

Ans: Well, a lean six sigma is nothing but a methodology that involves the entire team effort to bring them in the change in terms of performance improvement by identifying the waste and the variance reduction.

So in conjunction with the lean six sigma process and eliminates 8 different kinds of wastes, they are as follows:

  • Defects
  • Overproduction
  • Transportation
  • Inventory
  • Motion
  • Extra Processing

Well, these are few areas where the process flow can be improvised and get maximum benefits by optimizing the entire process flow.

Q14: What are the benefits of the six sigma process to the organization and for the individual practicing it?

Ans: The benefits of the six sigma process are as follows:

  • Helps the organization to reduce to a level where they can eliminate the errors.
  • Works towards improving the business processes.
  • Works towards the betterment of Quality Assurance.
  • This process can be applied throughout the business environments, applicable for all the markets.
  • Makes sure that it comes under compliance.
  • Helps the individuals to build skills and turn them into leaders.
  • Have attractive salaries for individuals having this skill.
  • Quality assurance and quality management.

Q15: What is the main difference between lean and six sigma?

Ans: The main difference between lean and six sigma is that lean methodology focuses on waste reduction within a process flow. Whereas, six sigma process focuses mainly on variation analysis and variance reduction.

Q16: What are the popular myths or misunderstandings about the Six Sigma process?

Ans: The popular myths or misunderstanding about six sigma process is as follows:

  • Six Sigma process is defined only for reducing defects.
  • Six Sigma process is actually used for the production or deployments of a project.
  • Six Sigma is just training and has no implementation in the day to day life.
  • Six Sigma process cannot be applied to engineering activities.

Q17: What are the three key elements for six sigma process improvement?

Ans: The three key elements for six sigma process improvement are as follows:

Customers: They are the sole owners of the entire process outcome so we need to define all possible metrics so that the attributes like on-time delivery, customer satisfaction, pricing, service, and transaction processing activities should be crystal clear. It is very important and one has to make sure that all are dealt.

Process: This is the critical aspect of the Six Sigma process implementation. For any customer, they would look for a quality product. So as six sigma process implementers we need to take a due care to understand this process from the customer’s perspective.

Employees: Finally the last thing to have a successful six sigma process implementation is to include all the employees of the organization and provide them an opportunity to grow their skill set.

Q18: What is the Top-down approach in the six sigma process?

Ans: The top-down approach is one of the processes within Six Sigma implementation. So usually this type of approach is in line with the business strategy and the customer needs.

But it has one of the major disadvantages is that the scope is very broad and at the same time it is difficult to be executed in a specified amount of time.

As per the industry standards, the six sigma projects are executed and completed in the time span of 3 to 6 months.

Q19: How to develop a SIPOC process map?

Ans: SIPOC stands for Suppliers Input Process Output Customers.

A process can be defined as a series of consecutive steps and activities that are executed in a timely manner to get a definite output.

The SIPOC process map is very important for identifying the following elements:

  • How the current processes are operating.
  • How the processes are modified and improved.
  • How the improvement is carried out or implemented with the next phases of DMAIC.

Q20: Explain what do you mean by FEMA?

Ans: FEMA stands for the Final segment of the Measure Phase.

So basically it promotes the cause of preventing defects before even they occur. So in a sense being proactive and making sure that are no known defects within the process.

Within the FEMA process they generally include the possible defects and rate them accordingly in three different ways, they are:

  • The likelihood of something might actually go wrong.
  • Ability to detect a defect.
  • Defect severity level.

If the defect severity is considered to be low then the user does not have to spend more time in terms of validating the process.

Q21: What are the three steps for Root cause analysis?

Ans: The three steps for Root cause analysis is:

Open step: This is the initial step where all the team members are gathered together and do a brainstorming session on all possible scenarios.

Narrow step: During this phase, all the possible explanations and scenarios are narrowed down to an extent considering our current sigma performance.

close step: During this phase, the project team will validate all the narrowed down list of explanations for the current sigma performance.

Q22: What does DFSS stand for in the six sigma process?

Ans: DFSS stands for Define for Six Sigma.

This process is actually involved in designing or redesigning the service or a product from scratch. One of the cases where the project is following DMAIC methodology, it goes into DFSS project because of the designing related tasks.

Q23: Explain what is a Pareto principle?

Ans: A Pareto chart is used to display the data and the tool is based on the underlying concept of the Pareto principle. It is often called as 80/20 rule.

Using this rule will help the team to focus on specific tasks and issues which might have a greater impact if they are not looked into at the initial stages.

Q24: So how does the cost of six sigma implementation is estimated by the organizations?

Ans: Well, the cost of six sigma implementation is estimated by the organization in different ways and a few of the popular ones are listed below:

1. The cost associated with six sigma implementation can be paid out from the direct payroll of the company and identify the individuals who were involved in this process full time and paid accordingly

2. This is an indirect payroll policy where the individuals are identified and payout based on the activities like data gathering, measurements, and discussions with the product owners, etc.

3. This is purely a consultative approach, where the consultants will be paid based on the number of hours they have to spend to train and mentor the team

4. This is completely a different approach towards the six sigma process. The payout can happen based on the process of improvisation.

Q25: What is a data collection plan?

Ans: A data collection plan is nothing but a plan which is used to collect the necessary data. So within this plan, the following aspects are covered.

  • What type of data needs to be collected or gathered is analyzed in the data collection plan.
  • What are the data sources for the data is analyzed in the data collection plan.

So the main reason to collect data is to understand the current process and portray possible improvement suggestions. The data can be collected from three different primary sources they are as follows:

Input: input is nothing but where the data is generated.

Process: the process is nothing but the execution steps where the factors like efficiency, time requirements, cost, defects are taken into consideration for process improvements.

Output: it is a straight measurement of efficiency.